Turkey, Netherlands to Normalize Relations

Turkey, Netherlands to Normalize RelationsTurkey, Netherlands to Normalize Relations

Turkey and the Netherlands have agreed to restore relations strained after a diplomatic row last year. In a joint statement on Friday, the two countries stated their “readiness for normalization” and that the countries are resuming full diplomatic ties.

Turkey and the Netherlands have decided to normalize their bilateral relations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Cavusoglu said he met his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Brussels and discussed the regretful events that took place in March 2017.

Underscoring the need to leave behind issues that block the two countries’ strategic cooperation on a range of issues, Cavusoglu said, “My Dutch counterpart has conveyed a letter to me and affirmed willingness to normalize relations. Upon his letter, I have also spoke to him over the phone and agreed to pave the way for our relations.”

“In this context, we agreed to make a joint statement as a first step. We also agreed to bilaterally reinstate our ambassadors shortly.”

Cavusoglu further noted, “I have also invited my Dutch counterpart to visit Turkey in efforts to determine a road map that would [put back on the rails] our relations to its initial state and to reestablish the dialogue and trust between the two countries.”

Recalling that a big Turkish community comprising about 450,000 people is living in the Netherlands, Cavusoglu asserted that Turkey will act accordingly to country’s national interests in its foreign policy.

  Longstanding Ties

According to the joint statement, the two ministers affirmed that Turkey and Netherlands have had intensive relations for over four centuries and have been NATO allies for over six decades and enjoy substantial trade and investment ties.

“They [Cavusoglu and Blok] underlined the importance of strategic cooperation between both countries on a range of issues, such as migration, combating terrorism and fostering economic cooperation. Following this positive meeting at the NATO Summit, both ministers took the initiative to contact one another again,” statement added.

Relations between the two countries plunged ahead of the April 16 presidential referendum in Turkey in 2017, when Dutch authorities canceled the flight permit of a plane carrying Cavusoglu on March 11.

The Dutch government also expelled Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from Rotterdam, blocking her from addressing the Turkish community in the Netherlands ahead of the referendum.

Moreover, rallies organized by Turks there in favor of constitutional changes faced restrictions from both central and local governments.


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